Catching Up

I’m back!  Well, not that I was actually away, though it may have appeared to be the case – I’ve just been spending way too much time watching tennis.  And with the Olympics coming up, I suspect this rather infrequent posting schedule is set to continue for a while.  Bear with me.

Not very many things have caught my eye around the internets recently – though a free Archers Beach story by Sharon Lee @ Splinter Universe was one of them.  I haven’t read it yet, but as I really enjoyed CAROUSEL TIDES, which was set in the same universe, I’m expecting to like it.  And also looking forward to the upcoming sequels.

I also liked this interview with Kristin Cashore @ Helen Lowe’s blog – she talks more about BITTERBLUE, and there are some excellent questions and equally fantastic answers.

And as for what I’ve been reading – I finished Lisa Shearin‘s Raine Benares fantasy series.  Confession: I stalled a few years ago in the middle (or so I thought) of the third book, but as the sixth and final book in the series had just been released, I wanted to know how it ended and decided to re-visit the book that had been giving me trouble.  So I dived back into THE TROUBLE WITH DEMONS and was surprised to find out that I had actually stopped in the second chapter.  I could have sworn I was much further in.  Oh well.

I’ll get around to posting reviews eventually, but while the books were generally an easy read, they wouldn’t be a re-read for me.  I’ve been pondering why I’ve failed to connect with the series – it has a lot of things going for it, not least the modern urban fantasy-like take on the traditional sword-and-sorcery fantasy genre.  I think it probably boils down to what I see as lack of character growth or development in Raine.  Five books in, and she’s still in the same place mentally (generally long-winded internal debate around the lines of “arrrghhh, I’ll be evil and corrupted forevermore if I use the Sarghred’s powers” followed by “but I have to protect the weak and defenceless” – major paraphrasing but you get the idea) as she was in the first books.  At least the dreaded love triangle was resolved in the fourth book.

I also read Veronica Roth‘s DIVERGENT (SF YA), primarily because of all the hype around the release of the second book.   I can see why it’s getting a lot of attention, and I was certainly fascinated by her dystopian world.  Ultimately though, the story fizzled out for me towards the end – I wasn’t invested enough in the main characters and the romance felt a bit forced to me.  I’ll probably get around to reading the sequel, but am in no rush.

So a pretty quiet couple of weeks when it comes to reading – I’ve not fallen in love with any new books, but haven’t hated any either.  What about you – any recs or rants?

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8 thoughts on “Catching Up

  1. Sigh. I stalled out on the Raine books where you did, and I haven’t been able to go back. For exactly the reasons you mention. Also, I was unable to cope with her not being with Tam.

    Call me shallow. 😉

  2. Welcome back Li! 🙂 So what do you think of Wimbledon this year? I don’t know, I haven’t been into it, nor the French Open. I hope Murray wins it though! LOL.

    I’ve read the first book in the Raine series and stopped there. Just didn’t grab me. Although of course, I probably have the 2nd and 3rd book in the TBR pile ^_^;

    See, I’m no a fan of dystopian, so a lot of YA, I have no picked up. Haven’t read your thoughts on Divergent, guess I won’t be anytime soon 😛

    Hmmm, books that I loved: Her Best Worst Mistake by Sarah Mayberry. I did really like Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson too, although it was very sad, but not the kind that leaves you depressed. I also really enjoyed No Tan Lines by Kate Angell 🙂 However, I know that in this one, there was flaws that I could overlook, not sure you would…

    I have been in a Kelley Armstrong mood 🙂 I`m getting ready for 13!! LOL. I read the blurb for it and I got really excited! As a result, I re-read Industrial Magic and Haunted. I also re-read some of the short stories and now, I’m onto Angelic 🙂

    • Wimbledon has been rather heart-stopping at times! I can’t believe Nadal is out, and Federer was *nearly* out. I’m thinking Djokovic is looking good though.

      I’ve seen the Sarah Mayberry book around – it’s getting good reviews. I read my first Mayberry last year, and liked it, IIRC. I may get that and the related Harlequin book? And NO TAN LINES is popping up a bit too. I think I am pickier when it comes to contemporary romance, so thanks for heads up.

      And I have noticed your Kelley Armstrong re-reads on GR! I’ve ended up requesting 13 from the library because of the free short story in the hardcover version.

  3. Hey Li!

    I don’t read much YA, except for LGBT, so no comment there! 😦

    For me? Like Nath, I would recommend Her Best Worst Mistake by Mayberry. That was a short read, but a really good one for me! I’m also pickier when it comes to contemporary romances, so that one is it for me at the moment. LOL!

    Point of Knives by Melissa Scott! I think you would love that one. The original duology is more homoerotic that anything else, it was not really considered gay when it was originally released by Tor, but this novella really, really does a great job of developing what was missing between the two novels. It was a great surprise for me, particularly since the original books were written by a writing team and the novella is picked up by one of the two.

    I just finished Caliban’s War by James S.A. Corey, the second book in The Expanse series (follow up to Leviathan Wakes), and it’s good! So yes, that science fiction opera is definitely worth it. And, I also read and enjoyed The Last Policeman by Ben H. Winters which is the first book in a science fiction pre-apocalyptic police procedural trilogy, but I don’t know if that’s your bag. 😀

    That’s it for me!

    • Another vote for the Sarah Mayberry – must be good 😉

      I’m actually reading Melissa Scott’s POINT OF HOPES now! The first of the duology, I think? I’m enjoying the mystery plot in a fantasy setting, but it’s moving a bit slowly. I’ll have to pick up POINT OF KNIVES when I’m done.

      And thanks for reminding me about LEVIATHAN WAKES. I definitely have to start that. I have just seen your review on THE LAST POLICEMAN pop up, so will have to check that out!

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